With the cost of living ever on the rise, it may be time to think about making your money stretch further. To do this it’s essential to understand your finances, this can require dedicating time to plan and organise your funds. It may seem like a bug bear at first, but the more time you spend, the better your finances could be in shape. Here’s our top 5 pointers to work through when getting savvy with your money.
First things first, familiarise yourself with your money. It’s important to understand what are your incomings and outgoings so that you have a clear idea of your money and you can begin to budget with your disposable income.
Now you know your disposable income you can begin to allocate set amounts to luxuries and savings. By allocating money, you can begin to monitor and manage your finances. You may find that your outgoings are a lot more than expected, and you don’t have as much spare cash as you would like. Keeping a close eye on your finances means you get a clearer picture and can start to think about ways you can save more, for example looking at your utility providers.
You may think that you’ve bagged yourself a good deal with your monthly bills but when you take a look at the bigger picture you may realise it’s not as good as you thought. If you fancy trying to get your utilities cheaper here are a few comparing sites you can check to see if you can get a better deal; uSwitch , MoneySuperMarket.com or CompareTheMarket.com
You know your monthly spend, you’ve set budgets, and you may have even got your utilities cheaper, now it’s all about monitoring. It’s up to you how often you log this; would you rather do one big review or multiple short reviews. You’ve set budgets, so you need to monitor how you’re doing whether it’s via an excel sheet, a budgeting app or simply just using notes on your mobile, it’s finding what works best for you. By logging every purchase you make that’s not in your monthly bills you can begin to see exactly what you’re spending and make sure you don’t go over what you’ve budgeted. You may find that your budget is not realistic or even better you may have spare money you haven’t accounted for. Whilst you’re recording exactly what you’ve spent, if you have online banking then make sure you cross check your outgoings. By cross checking you can also see what’s left to come out, has there been any unusual activity with your bank.
You may have something special happening this year; a holiday, wedding or even a special birthday and this can sometimes leave you with unexpected costs. If you can think about these things at the start of the year and set yourself goals to reach you can cover these expenses. You may want to think about putting spare change in a jar to put towards one of these special occasions, or you want to dedicate so much money to one side each week/month. It may not even be a special occasion you may have decided that this year you want to save X amount, so the same applies. You can once again monitor this to make sure you’re on the right track.
This may seem like there is a lot of effort and small tasks to complete, but by dedicating up to an hour a week you can have things under control and you can monitor your finances carefully. By not spending time on your finances you may find that money may spiral out of control or you simply don’t meet the goals you wanted.
If you want to know more then read our how do I set myself weekly or monthly budgets article. https://www.providentpersonalcredit.com/money-matters/how-do-i-set-myself-weekly-or-monthly-budgets/
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